After being given a frosted glass top desk at work, I thought it would be cool to set up some led powered visual notifications. I coded up a crude NodeJS server to listen for incoming events and a Growl "notification style" to send commands to some BlinkM lights.
What I used:
* Ikea Galant desk
* Custom Software (available on GitHub.com at https://github.com/mnlagrasta/DeskLights
* Growl Software
* 8 BlinkM
RGB LEDs from ThingM
USB controller from ThingM
* 9 IDC 5x2 Crimp Connectors
* 10 feet of ribbon cable
* 2 sheets of foam core
* a bit of tape, twist ties, and zip ties
What I did:
* Crimped the IDC connectors evenly spaced along the ribbon cable
* Plugged in the controller to one end, usb to that, set the led channel ids
* Started up the server software
* Configured Growl (non-mac users will have to find another way to send commands to the server)
* Watched the pretty lights
* Punched some holes in the foam core boards and attached the lights where I wanted with the twist ties
* Strapped the foam core (lights side up) to the bottom of the desk using zip ties around the metal supports
* The commands sent to the server are really just web page requests sent to the right port. You could use all kinds of other programs to send those commands such as lwp, wget, etc.
* Growl styles are somewhat limited if you can't program Cocoa. So I made a "WebKit Style" and set the CSS background image to "http://127.0.0.0:8124/growl", which is the page request that will tell the server to blink the lights red one time.
* I couldn't figure out where to buy it, but ThingM has added a WireM
kit that would replace my not-quite-correct 5x2 IDC connectors.